CNIE: Eye Strain And Learning


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The impact of reading online for graduate students

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CNIE: Eye Strain And Learning

  1. 1. Kelly Edmonds University of Calgary EYE STRAIN and LEARNING Stories from Graduate Students on Online Readership
  2. 2. STUDY PURPOSE To gain feedback from graduate students who worked with digital text in online courses  Design implications   Study focus: analyzing students’ reactions to     the constructs of online text its integration into curriculum its differences from traditional forms of text display the identification of alternate means to learning online
  3. 3. ONLINE TEXT definition Viewing content through: articles in electronic journals • online discussion postings from fellow classmates • emails messages from group members • information in linked websites • web-based notes uploaded by instructors •
  4. 4. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK Increases in student enrolment in graduate studies - some postsecondary institutions are turning to online learning as a solution  Instructors’ favour text over other media options in online courses  Increase in electronic resource use, such as library databases, for learning materials  Need more studies that address the impact of these approaches to uncover past experiences, successes and challenges 
  5. 5. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK  Characteristics of Adults as Learners (CAL) model by Cross (1981) Focus on who adult learners are, why they participate, and how they learn  Adults learners have unique needs affected by personal and situational characteristics   Model draws on the theory of Malcolm Knowles and his notion of andragogy Adults desire autonomy and choice in their learning  Use their past experiences to ground their learning  Take a practical stance towards what they learned 
  6. 6. LITERATURE REVIEW (2004, 2005, 2006) For Online Text Not for Online Text Flexibility and access  Control  Self-pace           Loss in readability Eye strain Can’t highlight passages Less permanent Supplementary Video better Not improve learning; surface learning Print to save time; costly Source quality concerns
  7. 7. METHODOLOGY Narrative inquiry
  8. 8. NARRATIVE INQUIRY  The study of experience under story on three dimensions: time, place, and social (Connelly & Clandinin, 2006) To capture the experience of learners when interacting with online text to understand  How they use, interpret, and learn from various forms of digital text  Researcher added her voice  6 online graduate students: Masters and doctoral  Interviews (via Elluminate) with simple questions, 2 week reading diary, and text samples  Analyzed for themes 
  9. 9. FINDINGS ... their stories
  10. 10.       “TERRY” small rural town in southern Alberta assistant principal family* time was limited* enjoyed learning and debating ideas forced him to articulate his ideas TERRY  Terry preferred an open learning environment where he could grow and be challenged, and develop emergent work together with other students using information and communication technologies Intellectual chess game
  11. 11.   “TONY” from the northern territories reflective of his life      experienced learning fully felt wealthy with his time given to study frustrated when fellow students did not commit in the same way visual learner - did not like live discussions  dissertation: oral history  text offered a level of intimacy not found in face-to-face exchanges  Tony saw online learning as oral learning with its opportunities for personal communication TONY  adventuresome in spirit felt a depth from living among the native culture and spirit Life is a journey
  12. 12.       Susan preferred to read online, gather all text online, or if needed, borrow a book from her local library than building a personal library. SUSAN  “SUSAN” elementary teacher for 25 years public school in an urban area in Saskatchewan interacting with others to learn working together, sharing skills and tasks, and building rapport as important aspects of learning preferred discussing content than reading about it did not read all text online – skimmed postings/emails; printed articles* Strong sense of community
  13. 13.  Jennifer was aware of the significance of words and text online, and believed writing conveys well how one perceives JENNIFER “JENNIFER”  special education teacher in a northern rural town in Saskatchewan  conventional learning style  struggled with juggling the content while learning to use the technology  social aspect of learning online both puzzling and intriguing; leery of virtual group members  enjoyed the different perspectives of fellow students who worked in various career and places in the world New online learner
  14. 14.        Robert organized his time and resources so he could constantly be processing information throughout his day. ROBERT  “ROBERT” managed faculty development for instructional skills at a post-secondary institution in a large urban centre in Alberta full family life strategic about how he engaged online; post responses after reflection* online classes were more permanent, dynamic, and always available vs f2f enjoyed group work, online dialogue, being accountable enjoyed hands-on problem; exploring materials and software in the online Needed freedom in his learning; learn non-linearly Specialized in info processing online
  15. 15.    “SARAH” worked and lived in an urban centre in Alberta found it easier to work online versus traveling to campus for school needed the instructor to provide a focus for her lessons    eventually learned to relax online negative physical effects of reading online wanted less quantity of work and content   more use of advanced technologies to help learners work deeper with concepts Sarah considered herself as an analytical and logical learner who struggled with online learning and its various activities and material formats calling on new learning styles. SARAH  guidance helped her manage complex readings, develop coherent thinking, and apply ideas to her work Eyes of an instructional designer
  16. 16. RECAP OF PARTICIPANTS Terry: Intellectual chess game  Tony: Life is a journey  Susan: Strong sense of community  Jennifer: New online learner  Robert: Specialized in info processing online  Sarah: Eyes of an instructional designer 
  17. 17. DISCUSSION: ONLINE TEXT Agreed with Lit  Web’s propensity          Search info Multi resources Browsing text Non-linear uses Associative linking Static less useful vs interactive multimedia Eye strain; aging Can’t highlight, note Juggling time; print Not the same as Lit  Supplementary use
  18. 18. CONCLUSION Gap in literature:  Context of learners  Personal learning preferences  Characteristics of adult learners  Personal and physical development This study:  Holistic story  Narrative inquiry  Participants’ preferences  Personal context and situation  Struggles:       Informing instructional design Life responsibilities Time constraints Physical strain Learning styles Various online modes Interacting with others
  19. 19. Cross (1981) suggested the awareness of personal and situational characteristics of students may require providing curriculum that is authentically diverse in format and activity, provides students with choice, and allows relevancy in their work.